​Four people arrested over planned terrorist attack on Brussels music venue

today12/03/2024 1

share close

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack on Brussels music venue Le Botanique concert hall.

Three minors and one adult were detained on the morning of Sunday, March 3, The Brussels Times reports, after a planned attack was foiled. Those arrested are aged between 15 and 18 and were suspected of connections to Islamic extremism following a federal investigation.

The Brussels Times reported that those suspected of involvement all come from Belgium, with one minor from Brussels where the attack was planned. The attack was allegedly scheduled to take place in the weeks following their arrests.

All four suspects reportedly met online and spoke via group chats. They were found without weapons or explosives, but laptops and phones were confiscated for further investigation.

The 18-year-old suspect appeared in front of a judge on Monday, March 4, and was charged with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group and preparatory acts with a view to committing a terrorist attack,” according to a press release (via Politico).

The three remaining minors – from Ninove, Brussels and Charleroi – were brought in front of a judge in Dendermonde, East Flanders, the outlet reports.

Le Botanique concert hall, a music venue near Brussels North Station, confirmed that they were the subject of the planned attack on the following Monday, and were doing everything to “follow this up as best they could”.

The venue also confirmed that, despite the planned attack, events will continue as normal with continued security measures in place, per The Brussels Times. In a statement seen by Belga News Agency, the team behind the venue assured that the security measures that have remained in place since 2015 are adequate following consultation with security services.

“These measures are evaluated on an ongoing basis, planned events and concerts can continue according to the current security standards,” they explained, adding: “Every effort will be made to optimally guarantee the safety of the public, the artists and the staff”.

Scheduled to perform at the venue in the coming weeks are Lord Apex on March 13, Mike on March 15, and Joy Anonymous on March 19. Still to come in the months ahead, Le Botanique is due to host electronic acts from the likes of TAAHLIAH, Florentino, BAMBII, and The Orb.

Federal Justice Minister Paul Van Tigchelt told VRT that the planned attack is now being investigated. “The suspects are indeed very young. This is unfortunately a confirmation of the current threat picture,” he said.

[Via The Brussels Times]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

Rate it